THE Highland Wildlife Park has moved a step closer to replacing its visitors’ centre after being awarded £1 million of funding by Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the park and Edinburgh Zoo, wants to build “Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre” on the site near Kincraig, with an exhibition and education space, alongside a café, function room and shop.
As well as native species – including the Scottish wildcat, capercaillie, and red squirrel – the park is also home to animals from other countries with mountains and tundra, including polar bears, red pandas, and lynx.
Daska Mackintosh, head of operations and visitor services at Highland Wildlife Park, said: “As a charity, we are thrilled to have been awarded this funding which will take us one step closer to the creation of Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre.
“Education is at the heart of what we do and the centre would allow us to engage with more people about the importance of conservation and what we can do as individuals to help protect threatened species here in Scotland and around the world.”
Last year, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £100,000 to the project.
James Gibbs, manager for HIE’s Inner Moray Firth area team, said: “Tourism is a key industry in Badenoch and Strathspey, and this project will enhance the area’s visitor offering as well as provide a number of new jobs for local people.
“Having Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre situated there would help the park to continue to deliver excellent customer service to their visitors.
“We are very pleased to support this venture and look forward to seeing it taking shape once all the funding is in place.”
Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.